Australian shares are still sitting higher despite a dip just after midday. It was quite a turbulent day on the ASX- with the Commonwealth Bank dragging the index down. Miners are up. BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) is still leading. Oil is up and gold is up. Iron ore slipped 0.7 per cent to $66.80 a tonne, pulling back from a two-week high struck on Monday. Meanwhile, iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.2 per cent
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 16 points up, or 0.26 per cent higher to finish at 6108. On the futures market the Dow futures are suggesting a gain of 8 points up. And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 15 point fall.
The value of trades was $5.9 billion on volume of 709 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), Westpac banking (ASX:WBC) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP),
Local economic news
Investors are still digesting last night’s budget with a proposed $140 billion in income tax cuts over the next decade. The government announced a deficit of $14.5 billion but said it is on track to deliver a surplus of $2.2 billion in two years .
ANZ (ASX:ANZ) has promoted head of its wealth division, Alexis George, to deputy chief executive after Graham Hodges retired following 27 years with the bank. ANZ has a new head of its financial planning division. Alexis George has been named its new deputy chief executive officer. Deputy chief executive Graham Hodges retired following 27 years with the bank. Alexis joined the bank in 2012 as a managing director of insurance before becoming group executive of ANZ’s wealth Australia financial advice division in 2016. She was CEO of ING's Czech Republic and Slovakia operations prior to joining ANZ, and has significant international experience in managing the operations of large, complex businesses. She will help to work to improve ANZ's engagement with the federal government, regulators and employees.
Shares in ANZ closed 0.14 per cent higher at $27.95
More company headlines
The Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) has announced its cash net profit fell by 2 per cent on a reported basis and dropped by 9 per cent on an underlying basis for the 3rd quarter of 2018. It’s underlying operating income decreased by 4 per cent. The fall was due to more home loan borrowers switching from interest only loans to loans paying back principal and interest. The bank said there had been a rise in home loan arrears due to rising essential costs and limited income growth.
The independent Directors of Vacuum retailer Godfreys (ASX:GFY) have recommended shareholders accept Arcade Finance’s takeover offer in the absence of a better price. Arcade has offered to purchase all Godfrey shares for 32 cents a share.
Investment management firm Challenger (ASX:CGF) has welcomed the Federal Budget announcement that will transform the retirement phase of superannuation. They say the Retirement Income Framework reforms will significantly improve the standard of living for Australia’s retirees. The new means test rules will enable the development of new retirement income products.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was Energy adding 1.34 per cent to 11289 while the worst performing sector was Financials excluding REIT XXJ shedding half a per cent to 6926
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Wisetech Global (ASX:WTC), is up 5.6 per cent to $12.73, followed by shares in Challenger (ASX:CGF) and CYBG (ASX:CYB)
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Greencross (ASX:GXL), dropping 22 per cent to $4.18, followed by shares in and Incitec (ASX:IPL) and Link Administrative Holdings (ASX:LNK)
Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.3 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.2 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,310 an ounce.
Light crude is $0.69 lower at $US70.04 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.32 US cents.
Bitcoin has fallen 3 per cent to US$9,019